A Bittersweet Celebration

Today is of course St George’s Day – the patron saint of England, but here at Bustle & Sew we are celebrating a much more important (to us) day – it’s Ben’s TENTH birthday!!  Yes, the big fellow is ten whole years old!

He has been part of my life, my friend and constant companion, for a decade.  When I brought him home (check out his puppy picture above) I could still carry him quite easily and though he soon grew far too large to be picked up, he has always enjoyed cuddles and ear rubs. Yes – that is a full sized five bar gate he’s looking over!  He has been with me through so many life changes and events, some amazingly good and others not so much.  When he arrived in my life back in 2007 Bustle & Sew wasn’t even thought of, not arriving until two years later – around the time the picture of Ben and his teddy bear was taken.

But now he’s growing old which is why I’ve called this post “A Bittersweet Celebration.”  Although Ben’s health is excellent for a giant dog of his age, he suffers with arthritis in his front paws, especially the left one – he broke a little bone in this paw when he was young.  He also has laryngeal paralysis that affects his breathing and so he is slowing down considerably.  The athletic young dog who loved nothing more than a long walk, preferably with the chance for a swim and to dig boulder-sized rocks out of rockpools has been replaced by a sleepy oldster who gets out of puff very easily and is content to snooze on his bed for most of the day.  I am aware that the time is drawing closer far too fast when he won’t be with me any more and so we must make the most of every day he has left.  An eleventh birthday would be wonderful, but cannot be relied upon.  So we’ll party while he’s here – tuna dog biscuits and peanut butter bakes anyone? – and celebrate his very special day together…

Happy Birthday Ben!  

With love from us all here at Bustle & Sew HQ, and in particular your naughty little sister Miss Daisy!


Happy birthday Ben. I would love to say Hello to you again, I still have that lovely photo I took of you

Julie xxxxx


Happy Birthday, Ben! Thank you for sharing memories of Ben with us. It issuch a joy to see photos and hear about the antics of Ben and MissDaisy.


Thank you Glenna, that Miss Daisy is a proper little pickle that’s for sure. And so bossy too ????!


Happy birthday Ben you are a fine looking boy. Everyday is special with our furry friends enjoy every moment with lots of hugs and kisses. Remember dogs leave paw prints on our hearts.


Thanks so much Susan. And in Bens case very large paw prints in more ways than one!


Awww Ben! Happy birthday big guy! You’ve both been blessed to have each other! xxoo


Hi Helen,

Happy Birthday to Ben from Inky and Echo!

Hopefully you’ll have him for a good while yet but I know what you mean about enjoying every day with our dogs. We lost our previous German Shepherd very suddenly at 8 years old and, although we don’t dwell on it, we are very conscious that every day we have our “girls”, who will be 7 in June, is precious.

Happy days to you all.

Diana. xx


Thanks Diana, that must have been awful, at least Ben is fading gently in the natural order of things and I have time to get used to the idea. Though he was very perky this morning, I think he’s hoping he can have another birthday today! Sending hugs to Inky and Echo xx


Happy birthday Ben.

My newf Ruby is 10 next month so I totally understand the bittersweet celebrations.

Hope you’ve had a lovely day xx


Thanks Catherine, and love to Ruby from all of us here. I just wish they lived longer ????

Pam MacLennan

Happy Birthday Ben, you handsome looking Boy you.
Love hearing about your antics.

On a sad note I made the decision on Friday to have my Border Collie put to sleep. Bounce was 12 and had very bad arthritis in his back legs/hips. He had slowed down an awful lot and was not the mischievous Boy he used to be. Unfortunately the relief the Vet offered was only going to be temporary.
The biggest responsibility as a pet owner I think is to make that decision. I feel very sad for us but it was the best thing for him.


Oh, I am so sorry Pam, such a difficult and upsetting decision. But I think it is after all our final act of love for our furry friends, helping them leave painlessly and with dignity. Love to you all xxx

Regena Fickes

Happy Birthday, Ben!!!
You surely have enhanced my life with the stories and pictures of you and your antics. You are a treasure. Good boy.


HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ben..Enjoy every day you have with your ‘sister’ and Mama. I hope you had a very nice day.

Jean in Edmond, Oklahoma


“Not enough biscuits thank you Jean”” thinks Ben, “hope mum makes more soon!”


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